MP to make second international aid call

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Preston MP Mark Hendrick is to call for ring-fencing to secure Government contibutions to international aid.

Mr Hendrick’s Private Members’ Bill on International Development will have its second reading in Parliament tomorrow.

A letter co-signed by Conservative MP Jeremy Lefroy and Liberal Democrat MP Martin Horwood urging Prime Minister David Cameron to support the Bill was sent on February 14.

It seeks to legislate to ring fence 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) for overseas aid spending, a Coalition Manifesto commitment which remains unfulfilled.

Mr Hendrick said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to meet our international obligations on international development and to ensure the UK spends 0.7 per cent of GNI from 2013.

“This is a bold and positive move in difficult economic times and the Government should be proud of this commitment.”

He said the bill was “underpinned by a moral commitment to help the poorest people in the world”.

The Private Members’ Bill was originally introduced in July, but talked out by Conservative MPs.

Mr Hendrick hopes the Bill, which has cross-party support, will reach committee stage on this reading.

However, if this is not achieved, he has called on the Prime Minister to ensure the Bill will be announced in the Queen’s Speech and included in the Government’s Programme for the next Parliament.

The Labour Party has introduced a campaign urging David Cameron to fulfil his responsibility to the world’s poorest and keep his promise.